How I Got Rid Of My Dark Underarms In 4 Weeks – The Comprehensive Guide

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Want to get rid of your dark underarms? Then you’ve arrived on the right page. 


Honestly having dark underarms can be pretty embarrassing, especially when you’re wearing an outfit that exposes those areas, like a tank top or swimsuit. But the good news is – dark underarms are actually treatable. I personally had an experience with dark underarms, which I successfully got rid of, after weeks of dedication and consistency with topical skincare treatments.

So, if you’ve been desperate to get rid of your dark underarms, know that you’ve come to the right place, but before we move down to that, It will be of interest to you to know what dark underarms are and what really causes it.

What Are Dark Underarms?

Dark underarms, also called underarm hyperpigmentation are pigmentation that appear under the armpits, which can take either brown or dark color. There by causing an unpleasant appearance of the underarms. 

Know that, dark underarms are mostly affiliated with people with skin of color (individuals with dark skin). Other common areas of darkening include armpits, back of the neck, groin, elbows and knees. 

So as an individual with dark skin, it is completely natural to experience darkening in those skin areas. 

What Causes Dark Underarms?

So many factors can lead to the formation of dark underarms, from medical conditions, to the types of products you’re using, to genetics. Plus, if you have a darker skin tone or extra sensitive skin, your chances of experiencing dark underarms are higher.

It is advised to see a doctor to ascertain the real reason behind your dark underarms before commencing any treatment, as in some cases, dark underarms can arise due to some medical conditions such as acanthosis nigricans (AN), type 2 diabetes, some certain medication intake, hormone syndromes or even cancer. Therefore, identifying the real cause of your dark underarms by a professional is very important to help commence the right treatment. 

How To Treat Dark Underarms.

Now we’ve gotten to the fun part. I got rid of my dark underarms using topical skincare treatments, and why’s that? That’s simply because my own case isn’t medically-related. It is just as a result of improper shaving technique, accompanied with my reactive sensitive skin which easily gets irritated when traumatized. 

After successfully lightening my dark underarms, I have learnt my lesson by taking preventive measures to avoid dry-shaving (shaving on dry skin) and also shaving aggressively. 

Now let’s dive into how I successfully got rid of my dark underarms.

I made a skincare routine for my dark underarms, which I applied every day for four (4) weeks, at night time only before retiring to bed. 

Step 1: Cleanse. 

While showering, I lay more emphasis on cleansing my underarms and pubic areas. Most people tend to pay less attention to these areas while showering, which is wrong. Take care of every area of your body. Your body is your asset. You can read our guide on body skincare routine

How To Cleanse.

While in the shower, apply your body wash or soap on your sponge, gently scrub your body, while concentrating more on your underarms, pubic and sweaty areas.

Step 2: Exfoliate.

The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution.

The ordinary skincare routine

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I used The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution which contains 7% glycolic acid — an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) to help exfoliate skin surface, thereby eradicating dead skin cells, which in turn reveals brighter and healthier skin underneath. Honestly, glycolic acid needs no introduction in the skincare world. Read full review here

How I Apply It.

After showering and cleansing my underarms, I saturate a cotton pad or ball with The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Solution, while I gently swipe it on both underarms, and I leave it on while going into the next step of treatment (I don’t wash or rinse it off). 

Step 3: Treat.

Under this step, I layer both 10% vitamin C serum and 10% azelaic acid to treat my dark underarms.

Timeless 10% Vitamin C Serum.

Timeless Vs SkinCeuticles vitamin C

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Vitamin C needs no introduction, It’s one of the prominent ingredients in skincare. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps improve the appearance of the skin, potentially reducing pigmentation, dullness, neutralize free radicals and environmental aggressors and helps stimulate collagen production. Vitamin C’s ability to brighten skin makes it very beneficial to reducing pigmentation appearance. 

Timeless vitamin C serum contains a 10% vitamin C to counteract external free radicals, brighten skin tone, thereby addressing pigmentations, boost collagen production which in turn minimizes skin aging-signs. Read full review here.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.

The ordinary skincare routine

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Azelaic acid on the other hand is considered a multifunctional skincare ingredient, as it mildly exfoliates the skin, kills acne causing bacteria, brightens skin, soothes redness and minimizes enlarged pores. Azelaic acid’s potential in tackling hyperpigmentation and mildly exfoliates the skin, makes it also a good pick to tackle dark underarms. 

The Ordinary azelaic acid formula contains 10% azelaic acid in silicon suspension to help address acne, hyperpigmentation, improve overall skin complexion and texture. You can read a comparison review between The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid

If you feel 10% azelaic acid isn’t giving you a desired result, you can move to a higher strength/percentage — a 15% or 20% — but first, do well to consult your board-certified dermatologist on your approach to moving to a higher percentage.

Niacinamide and azelaic acid
A 20% azelaic acid gel

How I Layer Vitamin C & Azelaic Acid Together.

I apply 2-3 pumps of vitamin C serum on each underarm, while I massage till fully absorbed.

After applying vitamin C serum and allowing it to fully absorb, I apply a two (2) pea size amount of azelaic acid (twice the size of a bean) on each underarm while I gently massage till fully absorbed.

The combination of both vitamin C and azelaic acid amplifies each other’s effect towards eradicating hyperpigmentation — that’s why I combined both. And oh, don’t be scared, both ingredients are suitable to use together as they compliment each other without complications. 

Step 4: Moisturize. 

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion.

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No skincare routine is complete without a moisturizer. Therefore to keep skin optimally moisturized, hydrated and happy, you need to apply a moisturizer. 

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion contains the combination of 3 essential ceramides alongside hyaluronic acid to deliver intense moisture and hydration to the skin. Read comparison review between CeraVe & Cetaphil moisturizing lotion.

How I Apply It.

I squeeze out and apply a generous amount on both underarms, while I massage till fully absorbed. 

Having dedicatedly used this dark underarms skincare routine for four (4) weeks, my previously dark underarms now look much brighter as you can see in the picture below.

Dark underarms
Before and after of my underarms

Need to take a closer look? Here we go.

Dark underarms

Is There Any Home Remedy To Lighten Dark Underarms?

Aside from utilizing vitamin C and azelaic acid together to lighten dark underarms, you can as well use some proven natural home remedies to lighten dark armpits too. 

Natural home remedies like:

  • Lemon: Lemon contains a load of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) which helps exfoliate dead skin cells thereby revealing healthier and brighter skin underneath, which improves the appearance of dark underarms. Lemon also contains a high dose of vitamin C — a powerful antioxidant, known not only to serve antioxidant benefits to the skin, but also helps brightens discoloration and dullness. 

How To Apply It. 

Cut thick slices of lemon and rub the slices on your underarms. After 10 minutes, rinse your underarms with cool water, dry them, and apply a moisturizer afterwards. Repeat this process once daily till desired result is achieved. 

You can as well use the combination of lemon juice and turmeric powder to make a skin-brightening-paste to lighten dark armpits. 

  • Turmeric: Turmeric being considered as one of the most effective natural remedies for skin lightening contains a chemical known as curcumin, which is an antioxidant and helps lighten the skin tone in the underarm area. 

How To Apply Turmeric & Lemon Together.  

In a small bowl, mix two (2) tablespoons of fresh lemon juice with enough turmeric powder to make a paste. Apply the paste evenly to your underarms. After 30 minutes, wash the paste off, and apply a moisturizer afterwards. Repeat this process once daily till desired result is achieved. 

How To Prevent Dark Underarms.

While you’re currently treating dark underarms, you should also ensure to apply preventive measures to avoid reoccurrence. By applying preventive measures, It simply means, abstaining from anything that will trigger irritation under your arms. 

The underarm area is sensitive and delicate just like your face, so — it’s important to treat it just exactly as you treat your face. Below are preventive measures to take to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of dark underarms. 

Use Mild Deodorants.

Using harsh deodorant or antiperspirants majorly increases the chances of irritation which can lead to dark underarms as some of these deodorants or antiperspirants contain skin irritating ingredients like alcohol and fragrance. Opting for natural or mild deodorants or antiperspirants (without skin-irritants) is a good solution to further avert underarm irritation.

Apply The Proper Shaving Technique.

Shaving wrongly also contributes massively to the occurrence of dark underarms. 

Shaving with a blunt razor aggressively cuts off the hairs, and also fractions against the skin, which can give rise to dark underarms as a result of the skin reacting to irritation. Shaving on a dry skin also triggers irritation, which can also give rise to dark underarms as the shaving razor frictions against the skin. Also shaving too often also contributes to underarm hyperpigmentation as regularly shaving the underarms can lead to excessive production of pigment cells.

To shave right, do the following:

  • Shave With A Sharp Shaving Tool: Ensure your shaving tools such as shaving razors or clippers are sharp, to ensure precise and gentle shaving and also reduction of skin friction which will further curtail irritation under the arms. 
  • Don’t Shave Dry: Apart from the shaving blade rubbing aggressively against the skin when you dry shave, it also cuts the skin which can lead to nasty shaving experience. Therefore, ensure to wet the hairs with a shaving cream or soap prior to shaving, to soften the hairs, prep skin area, for a smooth shaving experience. 
  • Don’t Shave Too Often: Shaving too often traumatizes the skin and increases chances of irritation which can metamorphose to dark underarms due to excessive production of pigment cells. Give your skin a break when you shave. Probably shaving once per week is a good approach.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: Can the combination of vitamin C and Azelaic Acid lighten dark inner thighs?

A: Irrespective of how individually powerful each of the ingredients is when it comes to brightening hyperpigmentation, the combination of both ingredients amplifies their skin pigmentation-eradicating-effect even more. Therefore the combination of vitamin C serum and azelaic acid will add a great boost to lightning/fading dark inner thighs. 

Some potential causes of dark inner thighs include: dry skin, too much sun exposure, chafing from the thighs rubbing together while walking or exercising.

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